Mad Max: Fury Road

fury-road-alt-poster

Release: Friday, May 15, 2015

[Theater]

Written by: George Miller; Brendan McCarthy; Nico Lathouris

Directed by: George Miller

For a lesser population, what a lovely day it is indeed, a day in which a franchise is reborn. To anyone else not attuned to what was once a legitimate excuse for Mel Gibson going crazy, Mad Max: Fury Road feels like what a Michael Bay action sequence wants to be when it grows up.

Before dealing with the flack I’m going to inevitably receive for that comparison, may I remind you that Bay, despite himself now, has a knack for building enthusiastic, explosive entertainment. Whereas the aforementioned splurges on expense, George Miller ingeniously . . . well, he splurges too actually. Except here a $150 million budget is appropriated toward some mind-blowingly technical stunt work that is liable to leave most breathless, begging for more.

Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is seen at the film’s deceptively quiet open recounting his days of hardship via a gruff narrative, briefly reflecting upon a troubled past before being snapped up by a passing horde of baddies, undoubtedly the inspiration for some of this year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Behold, the War Boys. He is taken to a strange and desperate civilization known as the Citadel, a relative oasis presided over by the tyrannical King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) who keeps most of the communal water and greenery to himself and his minions.

Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa, a shaven-headed, fearless amputee with a face covered in soot, finally has had enough of living in such conditions. She goes rogue, fleeing the Citadel in Joe’s ‘War Rig’ and down an indistinct but narratively significant path of sorts, bound for a better way of life. On board the Rig are Joe’s Five Wives — a collection of beauty that recalls Bay’s casting sensibilities. But Bay doesn’t go for talent, really. He just stops at ‘good-looking.’

Perhaps that’s the only thing Joe cares for as well. Enraged by the knowledge of their escape, he sicks the War Boys on the Rig, igniting a thunderous and violent chase across remote desert landscapes and into a sand storm that makes The Perfect Storm look like a gust of wind. Valleys become death gauntlets, their outer limits patrolled by bikers who are expecting a shipment of gasoline be delivered by Furiosa in exchange for her safe passage through. As sure as a Michael Bay car chase, more disaster awaits there.

Miller and Bay are both adrenaline junkies — the former addicted to cartoonish madness; the latter to closing the gap between CGI spectacle and cinema-related migraine. One of these addictions is healthier (at the very least, artsier) than the other. But the constant raucous atmosphere can be overwhelming for newcomers to this depraved world of half-dead humans clinging to life however they can. For a good portion of this ride Max is used as a blood bag to nurse Nux (Nicholas Hoult) back to . . . uh, health. And one of the Five Wives is very pregnant. This isn’t a thinking man’s movie, but if there’s one thing Fury Road is adept at other than delivering non-stop thrills, it’s showing humanity’s will to endure some crazy shit.

With Hardy replacing Gibson in the titular role, one that strangely bears less significance when put beside an iconic Charlize Theron, Fury Road threatens to abandon its cult classic status, exploding into potential box-office behemoth territory. Despite an outrageous, gothic dress code this costume design will likely remain one of the hottest topics of the summer. Maybe all year.

Apparently The Avengers: Age of Ultron is still playing in some theaters. Well, now there’s a new kid on the block and his name is Mad Max Absolutely Ridiculous. Decorated in war paint, yelling at the top of his lungs he demands you know his name. After spending two hours with him you aren’t likely to forget it. Perhaps that’s the most significant distinction between these auteurs of the action spectacular.

When you realize you left the GPS at home . . .

When you realize you left the GPS at home . . .

4-0Recommendation: Decidedly one-note when it comes to plot, Mad Max: Fury Road is still a unique experience — brutal and relentless action combined with beautiful visuals and a gung-ho spirit that fails to dwindle. Having seen the originals isn’t a necessity but I’d imagine it would help round out Max’s character more. Action junkies and fans of George Miller’s brand of filmmaking must see this movie. It’s a curious thing, too: there are two films coming out later this year (one this summer) with as much potential to deliver the goods and both indisputably appealing to larger audiences, but I wonder if these films will be as successful in recruiting new fans as Miller’s latest has been.

Rated: R

Running Time: 120 mins.

Quoted: “Hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.southfloridafilmmaker.com; http://www.imdb.com 

TBT: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 5.49.25 PM

OooOooOOOoooOOoooOo the chills are running down my spine as we enter into October for the. . . second time on TBT. I’ve got the chills because of the films I know I have to watch and/or review in the coming month; I’ve got the chills because I’m not looking forward to days in my car without heating when it gets cold. I’ve got the chills because horror films are, aside from religious films, probably my least favorite genre. But I’m always up for a challenge and will happily sit through four new films this year once again for a Halloween-themed month of throwbacks! 

Today’s food for thought: The Hills Have Eyes. 

the_hills_have_eyes_film_movies_hd-wallpaper-9116

Scaring the hill out of tourists since: March 10, 2006

[DVD]

Okay, so maybe there are worse things to fear than the state of the nearest gas pump you come across when breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Carnivorous bastards, for one.

The relatively recent remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, the story of a most unfortunate family who are left to fend for themselves against monstrous hill-dwelling creatures after being tricked into taking a “short cut” and subsequently stranded, will forever be remembered by this reviewer for its excruciatingly brutal trailer-invasion scene. Ick ick ick ick ick ICK!

French director Alexandre Aja (who will be helming the forthcoming Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe) set his sights on making his film a brutal and gruesome one. Between the grotesque appearance of the cannibalistic beasts — ostensibly humans with a bad case of nuclear mutation, in this case — the savage attack sequences and the desolate wasteland upon which Aja has set his pawns, I. . . uh, yeah. . . the guy succeeded.

The stockpile of victims here is the Carter family (same as in original version), spearheaded by Bob and Ethel, who are on their way across the country celebrating their anniversary. It might go without saying for the uninitiated that the characters aren’t bred to be much more than sitting ducks, awaiting their grisly fate at the hands of these sadistic. . .things. Sure they may not have to do much but scream and meet their maker in the form of creepazoids named Jupiter, Pluto, Lizard and Goggle, but the relatively unknown cast turns in what is necessary in order to effect desperation and terror as they succumb to their isolation in this former nuclear testing site.

*Shudder.* This movie is just gross. (Thanks for these memories, Tom.)

robert-joy-as-mars

3-0Recommendation: The Hills Have Eyes might not be what I would call essential viewing but it is if you’re into horror. Then again this might be a redundant recommendation as I might imagine this film has been ticked off somewhat quickly after having seen Wes Craven’s 1970s version. As a horror skeptic, I find the end result of this film to be an adrenaline rush that I don’t particularly need to experience again. I’m appreciative of the first time around and will save my eyes for some other hillside terror. Again, *shudder.*

Rated: R

Running Time: 107 mins.

TBTrivia: The development of condominiums in the original desert location of Wes Craven’s film forced the film crew to scout other areas. 

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.imdb.com 

Desert Island Films – Head In A Vice

cropped-banner1280x275ps12

Hey all, just wanted to give you the heads-up of a little spotlight that has been shone on yours truly over at the wonderful film site, Head In A Vice — as hosted by Tyson Carter!

It would seem this week my Desert Island Film picks would make the charts, and it’s been awhile since I’ve reflected upon my own choices, but needless to say — I think I’m a little partial to them, personally. 🙂

Without further ado, you can go ahead and click on the image above or this link right here to head on over there and discover what it is that I’d be doing with my time being stranded on a desert island all alone. The rules are simple and are as follows: 1) Pick 8 films that you would want to spend the rest of your life watching on this island; 2) Choose one book to bring with you; 3) Choose one luxury/inanimate object that won’t help you in escaping the island. It’s an incredibly fun post that I highly encourage more bloggers participate in.

Once again, Tyson — thanks for the exposure!